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  1. #1

    Pond cover thoughts.....

    Seeking wisdom from those more learned than me in fish keeping.
    For those unfamiliar, my pond is fully in-ground and uninsulated.
    It has heating set to cut in only at very low temperatures to protect the fish from severe thermal stress/shock.
    Over the last two years the heating has only been triggered for about 24 hrs in total per season.
    This low heating requirement has been partly due the "protection" offered by the surrounding sub-surface stable temperature (also prevents Summer over heating) and the relatively mild Winters.
    This year has seen a worrying shift. The long and persistent cold spell before Christmas meant a gradual cooling of the whole system and its surroundings to the point where the heating cut in more often. A couple of cold nights won't really affect the water temperature that much, but a week of sub-zero nights and very low single figure days will take its toll.
    This week is seeing a similar pattern.
    The cost of running the heaters (2.4kW) is now more than double what it used to be and so I have been thinking....

    A simple, easy to store, inexpensive and quick to deploy cover ONLY to be used when a prolonged cold snap is forecast appeals as a way to prevent excess heat loss, thermal shock and big bills.
    A bubble swimming pool cover meets all the criteria and can easily be cut to be a perfect fit.


    Possible issues....
    O2 and CO2
    • The filter is running and being air lift driven and having a secondary air pump in the system should be a pretty good way of ensuring good gaseous exchange.
    • Only being deployed when very cold weather is forecast means water temp will be low and fish respiration much reduced with obviously no feeding.
    • Natural fish ponds can be frozen over with no filter assistance - OK, usually much bigger.

    Light
    • I would choose a "basic" cover because it would still allow a resonable degree of light through (albeit blue or green tinged as these covers are usually coloured). Would this be an issue?

    Chemical stability
    • These are usually a UV stabilised polymer (probably PE or PP) designed to cope with agressive pool sanitisation and so are very unlikely to leach anything untoward into the water.

    Fish monitoring
    • The covers are a "posh form" of bubble warp, so can easily pick up a corner and have a good look. Remember, my plan is to use only during very cold weather.


    Although I've been building ponds for decades my knowledge of actual fish is definitely lacking.
    Does anyone see any major issues with my thoughts?

    Thanks


    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion samp09's Avatar
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    Would this be laying on the surface of the pond or above it? I don't see it being an issue myself off the top of my head especially if its only for short durations.

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    Would this be laying on the surface of the pond or above it? I don't see it being an issue myself off the top of my head especially if its only for short durations.
    Freddy boy used the bubble wrap style winter covers for a couple years before we lost him . As far as I remember they worked well enough think he did have to support it in the middle with a scaffy board tho . Sure his was 1 brick depth above the water surface

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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  7. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Just had a little chuckle going over Fred's old thread what a man . Find some pics of his cover

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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  9. #5
    Thanks for the input guys.
    The cover would be lying on the water.
    I would leave a small piece clear just in case a fish decided it needed to gulp some air.
    The nature of this type of cover is that the underside has the "bubbles" and so trap a layer of air anyway.
    Like I said, no different to having a hole in ice.
    Thanks again.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  11. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion samp09's Avatar
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    If its easy enough to lift and check etc then don't see why not. It's not far off the anniversary of Freds passing is it?

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  13. #7
    Lee at Japanese Water Gardens, notts. floats polystyrene sheets on the pond surface - I'm sure there will be something on youtube about it. Not that I'm recommending this by the way, but it may answer some of your questions.
    The other point I'd make is covers are bulky and need to be stored somewhere out the way when not in use.

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  15. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    If its easy enough to lift and check etc then don't see why not. It's not far off the anniversary of Freds passing is it?
    Past mate !

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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  17. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion samp09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    Past mate !

    Bloody hell I will raise a beer for him tonight!

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    Was just thinking about Fred the other day and reminiscing

    Remember talking to him about his cover and said he had to put some holes in it to let rain water out as it collected on top.
    To be honest not my ideal type of cover floating on the pond surface but everyone to their own.

    I use second hand polycarbonate which I got for free from conservatory roofs.
    I also use corrugated clear plastic sheeting from Wickes,quite flimsy but can be supported well.
    John

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  21. #11
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    Was just thinking about Fred the other day and reminiscing

    Remember talking to him about his cover and said he had to put some holes in it to let rain water out as it collected on top.
    To be honest not my ideal type of cover floating on the pond surface but everyone to their own.

    I use second hand polycarbonate which I got for free from conservatory roofs.
    I also use corrugated clear plastic sheeting from Wickes,quite flimsy but can be supported well.
    Always be a big miss mate . Talking about Hull the other week brought it all back then came across some pictures if the fish I got off him . Only got one left now tho . That ph crash the other year had taken 2 others and one did its self in jumping and hitting its head on the polycarb covers . Was good going back over his thread tho few good chuckles lol

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    Last edited by Ajm; 20-01-2023 at 10:03 AM.
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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  23. #12
    As it's only for the odd occasion and will be easy to cut to shape, easy to set and store I've ordered some floating "geobubble" cover.
    Thanks for the input.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  25. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukzero View Post
    As it's only for the odd occasion and will be easy to cut to shape, easy to set and store I've ordered some floating "geobubble" cover.
    Thanks for the input.
    bit late now as you've ordered material.

    my previous inground pond had some clear tarp over it to start with, as poly was so much more expensive (though cheap now by comparison...)

    it worked ok with some cls timber stretched over it to support it.
    the downside was when it rained or snowed, as it would collect and pull the tarp into the water....

    could you make an A frame or 'wigwam'... as they now say 'teepee'...
    over the pond to allow water and snow to run off?
    or even a cut down popup gazebo so it's just the roof part.

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  27. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by davethefish1 View Post
    bit late now as you've ordered material.

    my previous inground pond had some clear tarp over it to start with, as poly was so much more expensive (though cheap now by comparison...)

    it worked ok with some cls timber stretched over it to support it.
    the downside was when it rained or snowed, as it would collect and pull the tarp into the water....

    could you make an A frame or 'wigwam'... as they now say 'teepee'...
    over the pond to allow water and snow to run off?
    or even a cut down popup gazebo so it's just the roof part.
    Thanks for the input.
    I'm not planning on a substantial structure to last the Winter, just a very short term solution to extreme/prolonged cold.
    The pool cover material (very familair with its use) will sit on the water surface and so no support necessary and no issues with wind, rain, etc.
    It will simply roll up onto a tube when no longer needed and can easily be stored ready for next time.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  29. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukzero View Post
    Thanks for the input.
    I'm not planning on a substantial structure to last the Winter, just a very short term solution to extreme/prolonged cold.
    The pool cover material (very familair with its use) will sit on the water surface and so no support necessary and no issues with wind, rain, etc.
    It will simply roll up onto a tube when no longer needed and can easily be stored ready for next time.
    fair enough,
    short term i know covering the surface is like a sheet of ice at very low temperatures.
    and you would do just that.

    but for those just browsing, and not posting on this site, the only thing i would watch is the temperature.
    i suspect this pond was covered for far too long, in far too warm temperatures, leading to deoxygenation...
    it doesn't even look freezing, more like low double digits to me...


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  31. #16
    Ouch!!!
    What puzzles me about the pond in the video is that the blue balls should have allowed a reasonable abount of exposed water surface.
    However, if left for a long time, or it got too cold and was unheated or got too warm and that considerable biomass of koi suffocated, or, lots of things I guess.

    Just to confirm, my cover is just for a week like this with several consecutive days of very cold temperatures and sub-zero nights. I am understocked and have "mega-aeration" and would pull the cover as soon as possible.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  33. #17
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davethefish1 View Post
    fair enough,
    short term i know covering the surface is like a sheet of ice at very low temperatures.
    and you would do just that.

    but for those just browsing, and not posting on this site, the only thing i would watch is the temperature.
    i suspect this pond was covered for far too long, in far too warm temperatures, leading to deoxygenation...
    it doesn't even look freezing, more like low double digits to me...

    Remember seeing that a few years ago Dave,devastating.
    John

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion john1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukzero View Post
    Ouch!!!
    What puzzles me about the pond in the video is that the blue balls should have allowed a reasonable abount of exposed water surface.
    However, if left for a long time, or it got too cold and was unheated or got too warm and that considerable biomass of koi suffocated, or, lots of things I guess.

    Just to confirm, my cover is just for a week like this with several consecutive days of very cold temperatures and sub-zero nights. I am understocked and have "mega-aeration" and would pull the cover as soon as possible.

    You will probably be ok mate if for a short time like you say.
    John

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  37. #19
    Senior Member Rank = Mature Champion smartin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    Remember seeing that a few years ago Dave,devastating.
    me too John, awful sight.... poor fish...
    2200 gallons,infinity window,BD
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  39. #20
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukzero View Post
    Ouch!!!
    What puzzles me about the pond in the video is that the blue balls should have allowed a reasonable abount of exposed water surface.
    However, if left for a long time, or it got too cold and was unheated or got too warm and that considerable biomass of koi suffocated, or, lots of things I guess.

    Just to confirm, my cover is just for a week like this with several consecutive days of very cold temperatures and sub-zero nights. I am understocked and have "mega-aeration" and would pull the cover as soon as possible.
    i'm sure you would mate

    just something for others less experienced to think of, who may use it to try to keep a pond warm over the whole of winter.
    Last edited by davethefish1; 20-01-2023 at 05:32 PM.

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